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80 gallon elect on night meter..? power vent gas ?

Ok I have a 80 gallon electric wh for my wife and I only....it heats off a third leg on the meter so only heats between 11-7 ( night rate)  we use about 100 kwh per month...I have had people tell me to keep this set up and others say go to NG wh ...if I go NG I will have to go power vent...

So would i save money going NG power vent of just stay with the current set up ??


  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    What are you paying

    for the various fuels?  Around here, with electric rates on the higher end of medium (but not actually high) and stupid cheap natural gas rates, that would literally not be enough dollars to worry about.
  • luberhill
    luberhill Member Posts: 4
    not sure

    humm not really sure...I think the electric is like .13 per kwh...gas im not sure...I know there is a delivery and also supply charge...I was told even IF gas is cheaper that the setup I have is still better because electric has alot less standby loss and if I go with ng it will be heating during the day going on and off even when we are not home...

    Also the cost of the tank is much more so stay with elect ??? My tank is 23 yrs old but it works great and I have cleaned it out a couple times....dont know if i should keep using it or switch it out now...

    Also I heard 2015 they are making you buy an electric with a heatpump system $$$$$$$
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 930
    Water heater

    Look at installing a A O Smith tankless gas water heater. Models ATI540H - ATI340H - ATI240H high efficiency condensing models. Only use gas when hot water is needed. Vents with PVC pipe and fittings. Warranty is 15 years heat exchanger and 5 year parts.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,784
    Muddy waters

    Just to muddy the waters a bit, depending on price of gas and electricity, a heat pump unit with a COP of about two might cost you roughly the same as gas to operate.  There might be incentives for it as well.  Check out http://www.dsireusa.org/ for info.

    Yours,  Larry
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Here's my take:

    You will do what you decide to do, regardless.

    Consider this:

    Your electric water heater is grossly oversized. In MY experience. Where I worked my whole career, the local power company that had a monopoly on all electricity, wanted to sell electricity and electric heat. They wiped out the hydronic oil and gas heating business. They did the same to domestic hot water too because they convinced everyone that because the equipment was so cheap, and the cost of installation was too, it was the only way to go. They REQUIRED a minimum of a 80 gallon water heater, on a time clock for "peak shaving" so they could cut their loads from electric water heaters during their heaviest loads. Mornings after breakfast and evenings from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. They did it with a clock in the meters and every time the power went out, the clock stopped. There was a point in a request for a rate increase where they put in that 50 Gallon minimums were OK. We started using 50's. No one complained of running out of hot water. Because no matter what size water heater you have for a residential water heater, there are two elements but only one runs at a time. And they are either 3350 Watts or 4500 Watts. No matter what size water heater you have. They ALL recover at the same rate. I found summer vacation rental homes where three families stayed in a house with 50 gallon water heaters and there were no serious (if ever) complaints. I now live in Florida and we have a 40 gallon electric water heater with 3300 watt elements. We have never ran out of water in the AM or PM. Two showers in the AM and dishes. And any amount of hot water usage stretched out.

    When I was installing Power Vented gas water heaters and boilers, I never found a job where I could vent it properly. The best side was always on the other side of the building. The prevailing winds could come from any direction. When you try to figure out what electricity cost, don't listen to the BS PR from the power company. Instead, use my Short Bus Math. Take the total amount  of KWH's in the billing cycle and divide it by the amount of money the bill is. That will give you your true cost per KWH for electricity. They used to tell us that you got electricity for $.015 Per KWH.  But you first had to use 1,000 KWH to get the rate. The actual rate when you added up all the demand charges was up to $.18 per KWH if you only used 300 KWH (as I remember). The first three KWH's per hour were $3.00.

    Wall hung electric water heaters and Power Vented tank type water heaters are nice, but because I wanted the job, and I wanted people to have choices, I always gave prices on all options from replacing the water heater with some like kind to the latest in cool things. I never was able to sell that "latest thing". Usually a upgraded "thing". Like a smaller electric water heater with a quality thermostatic mixer. Raising the temperature in the tank, theoretically increases the size of the tank. Every gas tank-less type water heater I ever installed needed a buffer tank to keep the temperature variations to a minimum.

    The fact that you can tell if an infants formula is too hot or too cold, by squirting the liquid on the inside of your arm/wrist, tells you how sensitive the human body is to temperature change. A properly set and adjusted heating wall thermostat is accurate at 3 degrees differential. That's 1 1/2 degrees between the set point. 4 degrees and people will be getting up and setting the thermostat or taking a coat off or on.

    Replacing what you have with the latest thing is nice. Someone else here on The Wall now has a 80 gallon electric that is 22 years old and not leaking. The wall hung instantaneous gas water heater will NOT be still running after 22 years. Check out all your options.

    No one here has any skin in YOUR game. You asked for an opinion, that's mine. Like something we all have.

    Its been my overwhelming experience that when faced with all the facts, and money is always the object (something we don't discuss here), I almost always replaced the water heater with a like kind. Especially if the water heater is in a closet in the middle of the house and it has to be relocated to a place where it easily vented and difficult to plumb, or the other way around.

    Cost always seems to trump good ideas.